Tropical Storm Hagibis continues westward trek

The weather system to the east of the Marianas is now Tropical Storm Hagibis.

The system, as of this morning, still isn't expected to bring anything more than some thunderstorms with heavy rain and some wind to Guam. However, National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Aydlett on Saturday night said: “We don’t want to give anyone a false sense of security because any small shift north or south could change weather conditions to our islands dramatically.”

That means take today to prepare as much as possible, Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense officials urged in a press release.

As of 7 a.m., the system was located 15.3 degrees north latitude and 156.9 degrees east longitude, about 745 miles east of Saipan and 820 miles east of Guam, according to the National Weather Service update. Tropical Storm Hagibis is moving west at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

The tropical storm is forecast to intensify, possibly becoming a typhoon on Monday.

A typhoon watch remains in effect for Alamagan in the Northern Mariana Islands, meaning typhoon conditions, including destructive winds of 74 mph or more, are possible within 48 hours, around Monday evening, according to the GHS/OCD press release.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Rota, Tinian, Saipan, Pagan, and Agrihan, meaning tropical storm conditions, including damaging winds of 39 mph or more, are possible within 48 hours, around Monday afternoon.

Although tropical storm force winds are not expected for Guam at this time, any southward shift of the system’s track could bring damaging winds of 39 mph or more to Guam. At this time, Guam can expect 15 to 25 mph winds with gusts to 30 mph in showers during its closest approach, which is forecast around midnight Monday.

To prepare for any scenario, residents and visitors are advised to take basic precautionary actions now:

• Stay up to date with the latest information. The storm track or intensity may change and advisories may be issued.

• Locate or prepare your emergency preparedness kits for your household; stock up on non-perishable food items and water for your household, flashlights, first-aid kits, batteries, matches or lighters, portable stove, toiletries, etc. Visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more information on what to include in your supplies list.

• Secure important documents such as birth certificates, tax papers, and insurance documents and keep copies in a water-proof bag.

• Clear loose debris around your yard and store any items that may become airborne with heavy winds.

• Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action; clear drainage areas and unblock clogged storm drains in your area to minimize the chance of flooding.

The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) remind the community to heed any additional advisories in the coming days.

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